Spiritual Irritant

I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt,
you can do things like this and much more.
Matthew 21:21a NLT

You know what IcyHot is, right? In case you don’t, it’s a gel-based pain reliever you can buy pretty much anywhere. There are at least a dozen different brands – I like Biofreeze – but they basically all do the same thing: distract you from your aches and pains.

They fit into a category called “topical irritants.” It means just what it sounds like it would mean – it’s irritating to your skin when you apply it topically. However, when you’re applying it to an area of your body that’s ALREADY irritated by a sore or stressed muscle, the “irritation” of a warming or cooling gel is actually relieving. It allows you to focus on a hot or tingly cold sensation instead of the pain. Once your brain is distracted, your body can move more like it would under normal conditions and you might just stretch that muscle back to normal.

The key point in all that being this: Introducing a different focus is what allows us to move past pain and into progress.

In chapter 21 of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples that they can do big things. Specifically, he tells them:

“I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21-22 NLT)

Have faith and don’t doubt. 

  1. Have faith: Faith – believing in what you CAN’T see because of what you CAN see. Believing that God is the same one that created both those mountains AND me. He knows where they are and where they need to be – the mountains AND me. Wholeheartedly trusting that God is in control and letting him be the one who guides your big and small requests.
  2. Don’t doubt: Take one step in the direction you WOULD go IF God really is who we believe he is. Don’t wait for the mountain to move, live as if it’s already been done. Don’t wait for proof that all will be okay. Once you’ve taken that first step, take another. And another. And another…

So, if we apply this principle to the places in life where we feel pain, what would change? It’s possible the pain might be there, but our position would be dramatically different. WE would be the mountain that moves because our focus would allow us to move past the pain and into progress.

Sounds like IcyHot.

It sounds like Jesus prescribed exactly the medicine He knew it would take to have hope and perseverance in this world – a Spiritual Irritant. A focus on someone bigger than our pain and our problems.

Have faith. Don’t doubt.


Dear Lord, I know it’s a small, silly thing to compare you – amazing, all-powerful you – to a bottle of pain gel. I know you are infinitely greater than all our kooky inventions. But I LOVE seeing you in the small and big things we have in this life. I love when you remind me of your presence in my life and my victory over pain and problems because of you. Thank you for letting me move mountains in you. Amen.

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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